biograpauographe biographer. jeff zeleny in lakeland, florida. the place to be, my friend. >> hillary clinton will be trying to get out that democratic vote. you can see people lining up here already. this is the second day of her campaign swing here on the heels of three straight days of campaigning by donnell truaw do. florida is at the center of his comeback plan, she is trying to block. >> it is so great to be back in florida. >> we're going to win the state of florida. >> reporter: hillary clinton and donald trump in a relentless fight for the golden prize of florida's 29 electoral votes. trump mincing no words on his view of those who choose clinton. >> tell you what, you vote for her, you're crazy. okay, she is the worst. >> reporter: clinton releasing a new campaign ad laying out a
stark choice. >> a steady hand or a loose canon. >> reporter: a new cnn/orc poll show seven in ten americans believe that clinton will win the white house. she's dismissing the poll, but for different reasons than trump. >> it is going to be a close election. pay no attention to the polls. don't get complacent. >> reporter: with 13 days to go, trump trying to turn the tables. seizing on news of skyrocketing health care premiums for obama care. >> the rates are going through the sky. >> reporter: yet, trump's argument that his employees were being crushed by obama care quickly fell apart. most don't get insurance under the affordable care act. a point he struggled to explain. >> it's a small group, but it's a group that's having tremendous problems with obama care because of what's going on with the premiums and what's going on with the deductibles. >> reporter: in a miami radio interview clinton said millions of americans now have health care under the law, but acknowledged major shortcomings that should be fixed, not repealed. >> the costs have gone up too much. we're going to really tackle
that. >> reporter: an 11th hour political headache hitting voters in the pocketbooks. clinton ignoring health care at her rally trying to keep the focus on trump and whether he's fit for office. >> americans are coming together. at the very moment when donald trump ismer making an unpreceded attack on our democracy. >> reporter: former republican secretary of state colin powell throwing his support behind clinton. she's proud to have the endorsement of a decorated soldier and distinguished statesman. all this as trump and clinton trade fig. >> i wish i was in high school and i could take him behind the gym. that's what i wish. >> did you see where biden wants to take me to the back of the barn. me. i'd love that. i'd love that. mr. tough guy. you know, he's mr. tough guy.
>> reporter: now, clinton is waking up in miami this morning on her 69th birthday. that is one year younger than donald trump. she attended the final fund-raiser of her campaign last night. it's 371 in all by our count. by our count donald trump is winding down his fund-raising operation. "washington post" reports that his campaign is pushing back on that. he is not simply out there attending these events personally. what he is doing is attending the grand opening of his hotel in washington, d.c. off the campaign trail this morning at least before he heads to north carolina. >> jeff, thanks so much for teeing all that up for us. joining us now, former trump cap pain manager corey lewandowski and christine quinn. great to see both of you. >> good morning. >> why is trump taking a break from the campaign trail and going to open his hotel. why is that relevant? >> 12 1/2 events in two days.
>> it doesn't matter. he can take a little break. >> give me a break. he's done 12 events in two days. >> how many breaks are there in this moment? >> done more events in two days than hillary clinton has done in two weeks. now we're saying he's taking a break. give me a break. >> you're up the break here. >> what does a break mean? five days off and then getting ready. 12 events -- >> the optics of this are when we're in the home stretch, donald trump is focusing on his hotel opening just like he did on the bay of brexit. weird messaging about what his priorities are. >> here's a weird messaging moment, corey, where he trotted out his employees to prove that they think, or that they experience obama care as a tremendous disaster. but watch this moment and how it went wrong. >> all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with obama care. >> do you provide health
insurance for all of your employees? >> i do. >> so none of them are on obama care? >> we don't use obama care. we don't want it. >> his employees don't use obama care. he provides health care. come on, why was he using -- >> here's the difference. 1.53 million people in florida are using obama care. if you use humana which is one of the carriers you have a 38.6% increase in your premiums. >> corey, i am going to get to the bottom of obama care. corey, come on, hold on a second -- >> you get health care. >> hold on. >> explain -- >> i don't get health care. >> explain to us inside the campaign who lets him do this? that was the wrong message. he wasn't making the point that you're trying to make this morning. >> nobody lets donald trump do anything. >> he said i'm going to have a
press conference with my employees and talk about how obama care is hurting them and nobody said, they are not on obama care. >> they get health care through their company which not every company offers. >> why does he not know that? >> he does know that. >> why did -- >> he was talking generally about the people who get health care. >> that's like verbal -- >> i want to get to obama care for a second because there are so many points that he could have made about what's wrong with obama care. obama care -- the president said unequivocally, your premiums are going to go down. no, they're not. next year on average they're going to go up 22%. the projections for how many people have not hit what they said the projections were. 20 million. it's not as high as they said it was going to be. if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. not true. insurance companies are dropping out of obama care and doctors have. it's not been a glowing success by any stretch. is this going to be a problem?
>> unlike the trump campaign, i'm not going to stand here and tell things that aren't really the truth. as we saw mr. trump do just yesterday. are there problems with obama care? absolutely. >> how big of a problem for hillary clinton over the next 14 days? >> there are problems and we need to fix them. the fix isn't throwing it away and then making people uninsured, again. in this race clearly the person with the biggest depth of knowledge and the person who can fix this is only hillary clinton. look, you either have donald trump as it relates to obama care thinking his employees are a stunt, manipulating the truth or you have a man who says he's a great businessman who doesn't even know if his company gives health care. >> hillary clinton who was part of the administration and part of supporting obama care that hasn't delivered. in other words, it makes voters wonder who they can trust. >> it has not been perfect, no question. if you look at states like new york where the governor and the administration were fully committed behind it, the situation is very different than other states.
governor cuomo in new york put an exchange together and committed to this. we have one of the highest enrollment rates. that's not to say we're not going to fix it. hillary, this is top of her list and an enormous issue when she's looking at who will be the secretary of health and human services. >> corey, you can relax for a second. >> i'm ready. obama care and hillary care. don't forget that. >> the first effort hillary brought many children across the country and when she was first lady who would have had no -- >> pounce. >> you can't pounce against children wanting to have insurance. >> i want to talk about wikileaks because another wikileaks document dump. in it you find out that they are concerned when president obama says he didn't know that hillary clinton had her own server, which he said on "60 minutes." cheryl mill says we need to clean this up. he has e-mails from her.
they do not say state.gov. christi christine, did the president know or not? >> look y can't know if he did or did not know. the thing about wikileaks and the whole e-mail issue is that it has been discussed, reviewed, investigated. >> new revelations come out every day. >> revelations from a series of information that was gained illegally and may have been gained for foreign involvement and there have been questions particularly raised by donna brazille and others about the veracity of these e-mails. so, there's a whole question -- >> you might reject the entire veracity, but not really doing that here. >> hold on. i've never seen corey look so relaxed during a segment. he was reclining. >> i'm taking a nap. >> it does seem, according to the polls, that viewers are not really fixating and zeroing in
on all of these wikileaks revelations because hillary clinton is ahead nationally in the polls, corey. >> because main stream media has dedicated more time to the donald trump -- >> accusations. >> accusations than anything else. >> that's not relevant? >> let's look at this. donald trump taxes stolen -- >> have not been released. >> stolen and put on the main stream media and nobody said, nobody said, oh, my goodness. this is outrageous. this is stolen by the russians, right. >> well, the russians -- there's no evidence that the russians stole it. >> we don't know that. what we do know unequivocally the clinton campaign has not come forward and said these e-mails are wrong, not accurate. what we do know is that the clinton campaign is gravely concerned about the fact that she had a private server. >> he's released his tax returns. >> john podesta. >> i have ten seconds. >> two things, we keep
talking -- >> go back to relaxing, corey. >> we keep talking about trump and the sexual accusations because he keeps bringing it up. he could have given his speech the other day, he talked about suing. >> wikileaks. >> i hear you, mr. subliminal. >> coming up in our next former new york city mayor and trump senior adviser rudy giuliani. he will talk to chris and i'm sure it will not run off the rails like this. >> that's my nickname. all eyes are on the swing states and for good reason. the polls are tightening there. and they are going to create the pivots that will lead to the victory in this election. so, what is the strategy of each campaign? we're going to ask a supporter of donald trump from congress. what is the trump plan, next. ♪ if you have moderate to severe plaque psoriasis,
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good news, new poll in the state of florida has him up for the first time in weeks. trump leading hillary clinton in the state. you see it right there, two points margin of error makes it tight, but it's still good news. now, what does that say about what's working for him there and not working in a place that is on your screen right now. north carolina. clinton up by seven. unusual for to be ahead. we're about to discuss from the tarheel state representative renee elmers. congresswoman, good to have you with us this morning. what is working in florida for donald trump? >> well, he's there in florida right now and i think there are a number of things that he is focusing on that floridians want to hear about that, quite frankly, hillary clinton is bringing absolutely no enthusiasm to. you know, her message of increasing taxes and moving forward with basically what we had for eight years under barack
obama just isn't doing it. and donald trump is out there talking about the issues that matter. making sure america is safe. making sure our borders are secure. making sure that we're fighting isis and doing what we need to do to support our military and veterans. you know, obama care. this is a huge issue right now, as you know. people across the country are finding out what their premiums are going to be increased to in 2017 and, quite frankly, hillary clinton plan, which of course it was hillary clinton health care before it was barack obama's. you know, basically she was just going to raise taxes and subsidize the insurance companies. i find it interesting when she talks about how republicans want to replace and just put insurance companies back, you know, in charge. that's not at all what donald trump has planned. and, in fact, it is one of those wink and nod to the insurance companies. we're going to go after you. >> wink and a nod.
donald trump gets up there and has his employees come out and he says these people are really struggling under obama care. none of them are on obama care. 99% of his employees get insurance like this country does through its employer. does he not understand this or does he not know how his businesses are run? >> i hear this every day. thank goodness donald trump and his family and his business are able to provide health care other than the affordable care act. that would have to be a lot to explain. >> they're struggling under obama care and none of them are on it. >> he loves to bring his employees out because they love him. i hear it every day from families who are talking about other family members or a spouse or children that are on obama care that may be employed. >> what do you think the break down -- >> how many do i think?
>> how many people have to get it from the individual market? what percentage? >> let me tell you, that is one of the questions that we have never been able to get a straight answer for. one that i asked. >> i'll give it to you right now, 49% of the country gets it through their job. 34% gets it through medicare. okay, now you get into the individual market. it's 7% of the population. of that 10.5 million people, 85% receive subsidies. so only when you reduce it to that smaller number, about 1%, 1.5% looking for health care that these premiums can become a real issue. little bit of a different picture. >> now it is not the issue that we thought it was before. >> what you thought it was. it's what you thought it was. i think it's misleading. i think having trump come out with his employees who aren't on obama care is misleading or he doesn't know what is going on with his company. >> basically what he is talking about is what he is hearing. what he is hearing from his
employees and family members of employees. absolutely. i know this seems like it is the real faux pas here -- >> you don't think it was? >> no. absolutely not. >> why did he bring employees out and say they're struggling under obama care? because he hears how people are struggling under obama care. >> why did he bring out those people? there's something wrong here, congresswoman. it doesn't make sense. look, here's ruelmers and she is on obama care. >> i'm not on obama care. i'm part of congress, unlike harry reid's senate and staffers that basically said, look, if the rest of america has to be obama care, so do we. yes, i am on obama care. here's the thing, chris. no matter how you do try to spin it, there are people who are suffering under obama care. there are obama care premiums
that are skyrocketing right now. we have to fix it. >> why haven't you fixed it it? >> well, because barack obama is the president of the united states. >> he kept asking you to work with your democrat brothers and sisters and come up with fixes with a plan that has problems. >> chris, chris, this plan was due to fail from the beginning. >> thanks to your efforts. not wanting to make it any better. >> no, there was never any foundation to it to begin with. you can't make something better that is dead on arrival. remember three years ago with the roll out of the healthcare.gov. that was a disaster. it has been a disaster since day one. there is no fixing it. i know the nice lady that was on in the previous segment talked about new york and how well it is working and all we have to do is tweak it. their premiums are skyrocketing. over 80%.
80.5 for one of the insurance companies. in north carolina, we are down to one insurance company that is providing obama care. we need to make this fix. put a safety net in place, gut the whole system and come back with patient center health care. >> congressman elmers, always a pleasure to have you make your case on "new day." >> thank you for having me, chris. what are is it that drives and worries donald trump? just released audiotapes from extensive bigraphical interview. you'll hear them, next. you pay your car insurance
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now to some newly released audiotape of donald trump talking candidly about donald trump. in an extensive and revealing 2014 interview with his biographer trump opens up about what drives him. that biographer will join us in a moment, but, first, highlights from these tapes. >> you vote for her, you're crazy. she is the worst. >> reporter: it is a donald trump we don't often see. not campaigning, but, instead, contemplated. like when he talks about how he won't accept losing. >> you can be tough and ruthless and all that stuff. if you lose a lot, nobody is going to follow you.
because you are looked at as a loser. winning is a very important thing. and the most important aspect of leadership is winning. if you have a record of winning, people are going to follow you. >> reporter: as we've seen this election, this is a leader who enjoys a fight. >> like to punch him in the face. i tell you. >> reporter: and the tapes reveal that willingness to fight began as a child. >> in eighth grade. >> i love to fight. i always loved to fight. >> physical fights. arguments. >> any kind of fight. including physical. >> reporter: ex-wife ivana trump sat down for a rare interview. she explained how six months into the relationship she saw how trump reacted when she outskied him. >> and then ski instructor i told him, don't tell donald that i can ski, okay? because the ego.
two flips in the air, two flips in front of him. i disappeared. donald was so angry. he took off his skis, his ski boots and walked up to the restaurant. >> so he left you? >> yeah. he couldn't take it. he couldn't take it. he went foot bare up to the restaurant and said i'm not going to do this [ bleep ] for anybody, including ivana. >> reporter: for trump, everything is a competition. especially business. >> i never had a failure. because i always turn a failure into a success. >> reporter: the theme weaves through his interviews. refusal to acknowledge any business failures. >> i bought something and thrown it into a bankruptcy.
wiped out a lot of the debt. came back. the next day i read the story, trump files bankruptcy. did you go bankrupt? do you understand that? i tell you what i do. i always do because -- i'll tell you why i do. what always bothers me is false stuff. untruths. that bothers me. >> reporter: fame. he admits, he needs it. >> it's happened from the time i was fairly young. >> did it unnerve you at first? >> no. >> or make you feel unsafe ever? >> no. i think what would unnerve me, if it didn't happen. >> reporter: he takes a moment to talk about marriage. >> when you think about balancing when you think about balancing your ambition and your relationship with people you
love, what's changed? >> well, it's very hard for somebody to be with me. >> reporter: trump's affair with marla maples. >> she doesn't have brains. i have no idea why donald was doing with her. but she broke her marriage because immediately when i find out his affair, i file for divorce. >> this is it? >> i was the one, yeah. because if you cannot trust your spouse, you know, it's over. >> reporter: much more fiery rhetoric. he did it with a singular, unyielding belief in himself. >> the most important thing is being able to have the proper vision and then never quitting. you know, a lot of people say, oh, you could never give up. well, you can give up if you have a stupid vision. i always say vision is the most important thing. you need a proper vision and then you have to have the ability to get it done.
>> reporter: cnn, los angeles. >> we have a lot to talk about. let's bring in author of "the truth about trump." he's the one who you hear on thosadotops. also with us, "new york times" political reporter michael barbaro. great to have you both with us. so, why, michael, did you release these tapes now after this was done in 2014. why now? >> well, i considered them supporting material for the book. almost as if giving someone the documents i use which i would do. it's all part of the record. so, michael asked me and i said, yes. and the funny thing if anyone else had asked, i would say, yes. >> i did. he's lying. michael, why did you want them? what did you see the value as? >> it always occurred to me that you could get a more poignant and candid donald trump if he were not on stage and if he was
prodded by a skilled intervie r er. hours and hours of conversation, i wonder what would have happened by the end of the conversations if he saw the facade fall and he did. by the end of the interviews, you hear him talking about how vital a force. that's not something you normally hear. you hear this kind of performer donald trump. not the more vulnerable one who is kind of searching his soul a little bit for a sense of who he is. >> michael, when the facade falls there and you hear that, that is your fourth sit down interview with him. what do you think was the most revealing in sitting down with all the time you spent with him? >> his comment on how he does not like to analyze himself because he is afraid of what he realized. i was actually quite moved by him near the end of this process. he, he would be the guy that the public should see, actually.
it's a calmer, more sincere, reflective person. and i would have hoped for some of those qualities in a president. but he in public only has one speed and it's that aggression and i, you know, it's funny. i like him when he's quieter like that. you can almost get attached to him. but the other fellow is hard to grasp. >> you know, it's interesting, a long time political kind of doctor for candidates said to me, trump's biggest problem is he only has one tool. that he's very good at the counterattack and going all in, but it doesn't work equally well in all circumstances. in some of these interviews you see where that comes from. what do you get from that? >> his childhood. michael can speak to this even more than i can. he was sent off at the age of 13 to a military academy which was not a disciplined place where you had to shine your shoes and belt, but combat was a part of life. you had to be the best in part
by making sure no one else could compete with you and you push them down. he talks in this interview about loving the fight. not tolerating the fight or grudgedly participating but it began at that age of his life and it continued on. the other thing that we learned about him, he fears most profoundly losing that kind of fight and being embarrassed in public. throughout the interviews, you see him dumping and being incredibly contemptuous of anybody else who falls from grace and embarrassed and loses their status. it became very clear tame reading these interviews and listening to them that one of donald trump's greatest animating fears is that he will be publicly embarrassed and humiliated. he will be forgotten. and i think that's a really fascinating lesson when you think about what makes him act the way he does. seek the public affirmation and go out and run for president and go out and be a celebrity and be a reality tv star. >> michael, what does that mean
for november 9th, if he were to lose, what happens for trump? >> i think it would be very difficult for him. i expect him to retreat, but only briefly. as michael said, he loves this fighting. and i realize that he feels secure fighting. it's not -- it's when the fight is not happening that he is worried about what might come next. and that's unusual. most of us don't want to jump into conflict and would rather negotiate -- >> it's not unusual for the species we're discussing. competents are different, especially and candidates for president are way different than anybody else. you are going into a crucible that is different than anything else and you have to want it more than you want anything else in your life. this is the main child that they must covet. is he that different in terms of the makeup of this typical species? >> i think it's just more extreme. he admires bill clinton. that's a good example. >> oh, we have that, actually,
let me pause you for one moment. it's interesting to hear him talk so glowingly about bill clinton back then. >> bill clinton is certainly a great politician. and you should call bill clinton and ask him about me. he was on larry king. he said donald trump is a great golfer and is a friend of mine. and, you know, now, of course, it's a little different. because a lot of people and his wife is obviously going to be running if she's healthy. he's a great politician. >> how times have changed. >> well, bill was the guy who could bite his lip and feel your pain and would actually sit next to hillary during the scandals and respond in a way that made us feel for him. >> and you're saying that donald trump responded to that. he liked that about him. >> no, that's the part that donald can't do. you see this whole thing of i'm going to grab them by the you know what. some other people would say,
okay, i'm going to just lay myself open to this question. and let chris interview me and get it all out. donald is attack, attack, attack and he's not going to give us that part of him. >> the other thing about that moment and it happens during the interviews. call this person, call don king they will tell you essentially how great i am. that is not the normal way of an interview with a politician. call chris, call michael, they'll tell you how wonderful i am. he needs the world to know. he's offering you the crumb trail to the person that will tell you the thing he most wants to read in the book in the story. >> as you learned very well, michael, and you relayed well. he is the master of the sale from telling you who to talk to and often in interviews he would say, you know i'm right about this. we'll see how great on november 8th. >> thank you, gentlemen. the obama administration adamantly defending the aca, the
the obama administration is defending the affordable care act even though obama care premiums will rise an average of 22% next year. in some places, premiums will more than double and insurance options will shrink. donald trump and republicans now claim that state-run exchanges are headed for collapse. so, let's bring in sylvia
mathews burwell secretary of health and human services. she joins us from washington. secretary, thank you for being here. >> good morning, thanks for having me. >> this is not good news. this is not what is supposed to happen. this is not what president obama said would happen with premiums. he promised premiums would go down. he was pretty unequivocal about that. how did he get this wrong? >> what's important is to focus on what is actually happening to consumers. for the 150 million people that have employer-based care and that's most of the viewers or the 55 million folks in medicare or the 70 million folks in medicaid, that's not what these numbers are about. and hit's important for those 10 million what we know in the last six years they've seen five of the slowest years of growth in their premium in history. so, for people in the employer-based market, their premium growth has actually slowed.
>> sure, but this -- >> with regard to the marketplace -- >> wait one second. the selling of obama care to the american public is not for people who were covered by their employers because we all have insurance. this was for the uninsured. >> i think that's one of the biggest misconceptions about the affordable care act. the affordable care act was about three fundamental things. access, affordability and it was about everybody, not just the uninsured. while we've seen a historic drop of the uninsured of 20 million and the lowest insured rate for everybody else really important benefits. for everybody else who already had coverage you did not need to worry if you or a family member had asthma or cancer in their past because you can't be locked out for pre-existing conditions. when you go in as i go in with my 9 and 7-year-old, i don't have to pay for their child wellness visits. and folks who have a lot of
conditions, they don't have to worry about annual or lifetime limits. finally, if you have a kid who needs to be on your plan until 26, that can happen. those are all what the affordable care act was about, as much as it was making sure that we get those folks who don't have insurance insurance. >> and those are all the benefits. i mean, you've done a great job of spelling out the benefits of it. everybody likes the idea of prexrpr pre-exists conditions being covered, but promises that were broken. as we discussed, president obama said premiums will go down. they have not. if you like your doctor, thyou n keep your doctor. that is not true. the projections of how many people would be covered, you say 20 million, that is true. but that is short of what the projections said it would be, which was 32 million in two years from now. >> i think let's even focus on the projections. one of the things that is so important about this is to make sure that we actually get the substance and the facts out there. when one looks at what was made
about the coverage and how many in the marketplace, one of the myths about the affordable care act and the marketplace. those predictions were based on criticisms that people would move from employer-based care and companies would move their folks into the marketplace. the biggest difference between the numbers and where we are right now and the congressional budget office numbers, which i think are the numbers you're referring to. people didn't move from employer care. we haven't seen a big change in that. that is one of the things in terms of the myths overall. people said there would be job creation issues and we know we had some of the strongest private sector job creation in history. people said people would dump into the marketplace. that hasn't happened. more people that would have part-time work. that hasn't happened either. what has happened is we have reduced the uninsured rate by a dramatic and historic amount and the other thing that has happened that is very important
is the quality of coverage for all of us who had it has improved. >> again, those are the benefits. you're doing an excellent job of spelling out the benefits. but there were some promises that were made that actually turned out not to be true. let's just zero in on the idea that your premiums will go down. there are some states, secretary, such as arizona where premiums are going up 116% next year. alabama up 58%. north carolina up 40%. florida 14%. the average is 22. that was a promise broken. >> so, alisyn, i think what's important is to focus on where we were before. for so many of those people in the marketplace, they had no coverage at all. they had no alternative at all. they had plans that were even more expensive especially because many of those people had pre-existing conditions. when one is looking at the marketplace, the other thing to focus on is what do consumers
actually pay? this system was designed as a system where there are tax credits and subsidies. and 85% of folks in the marketplace receive those tax credits and those subsidies. for those people, they will be insulated against these changes because as the that's the way the tax credits were designed. the other thing that is important is premiums came in the marketplace much lower in the early years than the projections you referred to earlier. >> secretary burwell, thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. we have a wrong that needs to be righted and we are not letting if go. pressure growing on the pentagon and veterans fighting back to keep reenlistment benefits and it has to be fixed. another chapter in this tale, next.
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several big name companies say the presidential election is hurting their sales. chief business correspondent christine romans is in our money center. is that true, christine? >> blame it on the election. could the economy bashing on the campaign trail be weighing on the minds of consumers? a surprising list of companies using this election excuse in the latest round of corporate earnings we've seen. duncan brands says consumers are in a funk. mcdonald's says consumer confidence is muted. yum brands, they own pizza hut, they think the election is making customers wary. same sentiment from popeyes. even the rv maker winnebago says the election is hurting its bottom line. it might seem hard to believe that people are holding back on grabbing coffee for a cheeseburger because of fears about a trump presidency or clinton presidency. but it does support something we've seen. americans are worried about the future even if their current financial situation is okay. but there's another measure of corporate america that does not show this trend. the dow jones industrial
average, guys, is just 2.5% below its all-time high hit earlier this year about 470 points away. kwies? >> the difference between main street and wall street i have to tell you this all the time. you see the different effects here. >> schooled by cuomo once again. >> i can't sell -- >> -- job. >> i'm going to eat everything that you just described. all right so defense secretary ash carter is dealing with a real problem at home while in paris. he is promising to resolve the bonus controversy that has impacted tens of thousands of the american soldiers who should be dealing with it least. take a listen. >> anybody who volunteers to serve in the armed forces of the united states deserves our gratitude and respect. period. i'm aware of the specific issue that you're speaking of. it's got its complexities to it. and we are going to look into it and resolve it. >> yeah.
six years after they first found out about it. that's what we're dealing with right now. that's how long they've had to fix this. joining us now is the founder and ceo of iraq and afghanistan veterans of america paul reichoff. and sergeant first class robert richmond one of the soldiers battling to keep his bonus. thank you for your service. thank you for joining us. as always. robert let me start with you. when did you get your bonus? i received my re-enlistment bonus in november of 2006. >> okay. when did they ask you for it back? >> i received a letter may of 2014 demanding my bonus back. >> okay. and you obviously complained about it. did you put out that grievance, that the -- not just national guard, but did anybody else have reason to know that there were a lot of robert richmonds out there dealing with this? when i first received that letter i thought i was the only one and i started calling my
headquarters, and calling the numbers provided on the letter to get to the bottom of it. and through my research, i discovered that at the time there's nearly 17,000 soldiers affected by it. and you know at that point i became an advocate for fighting it, because it was ten years, you know, almost ten years had gone by by the time they started wanting to collect the amount due. and it just -- it didn't seem right. it didn't seem moral. and so i advocated against it from the very beginning. >> understood. and we're talking about $15,000 of the initial amount but then, this turned into like a straight-up irs scenario where it was all about penalties and interest and everything else. how onerous has this become for you in your life? >> oh, it has been awful. initially i received pretaxed the bonus was $11,000. and then they wanted me to pay back the full $15,000 with penalties and interest. they turned me over to the treasury department, who tacked on 28% more, and now, you know,
four months after the collection started, i'm owing them $19,000, almost $20,000. for an error they claim that they made. when i signed the contract in good faith and fulfilled it. it has crippled my finances. they attacked my credit. i was self-employed at the time, between jobs, and i relied on my ability, i had good credit, to do business deals, and they crippled my -- my credit right in the middle of the time that i used my cash to go into a business deal. and i was left nearly pennyless with a family and a couple of kids, and i really struggled for a time to just get by. >> man, i'm sorry to hear that. let's bring in p.j. here for a sec. i'm disgusted that like i didn't know sooner. that we weren't able to get on this sooner. let's put that issue on the table. they're all saying now, we had a democrat from california, he's senior member on the veterans committee. he says we're going to deal with this. they've known for years about this. this is not new. fair point? >> we've been hearing stories
anecdotally from our members for years. every time i come on with you it's to talk about something outrageous coming out of washington. this is a whole new level. this is off the charts. everybody across america is outraged and these folks need to have their situation fixed. the hashtag we've been using is pay them back. go to paythembackus, sign our petition. we need more pressure from congress. they're not outraged enough to come back from recess to actually fix it. they're not going to come back until after the election. so we need the secretary of defense to fix this right away. >> something said to me, paul spends all this time understanding these issues so it's not just like he's a veteran. he's become an advocate. tacano says we're not sure what we need to do here because one it's layered. you've got people like richmond and thousands of others like him who started paying things back. how do you get them not just to not have to repay but reimburse for what they did have to repay and how do you deal with his credit, all of this ancillary and collateral damage? he says the dod can already do
this, and we're going to point out to the dod where in the law it says that they have discretion. now is that true? i read it, it's a little bit -- >> secretary of defense should be able to find a way to fix it. and if he can't the president should. >> but if he wanted to fix it wouldn't he have fixed it already? >> i don't know. that's the question for him. right now they can do a strategic strike from a drone 10,000 miles away but they can't fix this guy's credit. this is not putting a man on the moon. if they have to go through individually and put people in the pentagon going one by one to reconcile this situation, that's exactly what they should do. everybody in washington should fix it. it's an issue of recruitment, morale, it's an issue of morality. i mean this guy and his family should not be put in this situation after he served honorably. so pay them back. fix it immediately and let's move on to other issues. but also what are we going to do to fix this situation long-term? because this is putting stress on him, on his family, it's another reeng why everybody needs to get involved. we can't sit back and wait for washington to fix it. these folks need to get fixed back. it needs to happen immediately.
we're calling on them to fix it before veterans day. but they should be able to fix it before the end of the week. >> robert to end on you here, wooer going to keep this discussion going. we have to stay on it because they're not even in session and you have the election and then the inauguration and the 100 days and you're going to have to really stay on this. hopefully they're looking to do something simple and help people like you. just to nail this point down for the entire audience, you said to your c.o., you said to people, this is wrong, and what did they say back to you when you were saying this is just wrong that i have to repay something no matter who was guilty of fraud, no matter who got caught doing it the wrong way, you were doing it the right way, what was the response? >> they told me that i had to go through a certain process. there's multiple processes to request an exemption to policy. at what point i had to admit that i received a payment erroneously. versus in a promise -- in a contractual agreement.
the process has been going back and forth, i've been at this process for two years, they're telling me i just have to wait one more year and then they'll make a decision on to whether i can have this case resolved or not. in the meantime, within 30 days of my first collection letter, they ruined my credit with all three bureaus, and 30 -- three months after that, the treasury department tacked on this interest, and is coming after me for my civilian wages. >> hmm. you know, to the audience out there we don't tell you what to do. but all of you say you support men like the ones on your screen right now. i got to tell you, you're not talking about this issue the way you're throwing bombs at trump and clinton, and engaging in the election that way, think about this when you think about supporting the troops. gentlemen, thank you for your service. thank you for being here. we'll stay on this. that's a guarantee. >> thank you. >> there's a lot of news this morning. let's get right to it. >> you vote for her, you're crazy, okay? >> he's run a campaign based on insults. his final target is democracy itself.